The Violator period is my favourite Depeche Mode period, not just for the jaw dropping, awe inspiring majesty of the music, but also for the artwork. The album cover is a work of simplistic genius and the single artwork for the four singles Personal Jesus, Enjoy The Silence, Policy Of Truth and World In My Eyes is stunning. There will be time to look at these in depth later, but today, we focus on a rare 12" promo for World In My Eyes, the fourth and final Violator single. This release is my favourite Depeche 12" promo and so it's ushered into the Museo to be celebrated with all its other rare chums.
|12BONG20 12" promo - front|
The first thing you see here is the stark but gorgeous cover. It's in a plain white sleeve with a sticker at the bottom. The picture on the right hand side is Dave doing the World In My Eyes sign (let's just call it that), his silhouette taken from the picture of him that appears on the rear of L12BONG20. Written on Dave is a series of five numbers and that's where you find what number your 12" promo is. Mine is 00419.
|Sticker on front of 12BONG20 12" promo|
Over the last couple of days, I've consulted the wise gang of collectors on the wonderful depmod.com forum and Facebook page and the consensus is that there were only 500 of these promos issued, so it's a nice rare thing to have. I absolutely love the sticker idea as it gives an extra touch of magic to the usually otherwise generic promo 12" single. Also, fans of catalogue numbers will note that this release doesn't have a promo style catalogue number. There is a P12BONG20 in existence and it features World In My Eyes (Mayhem Mode Mix) and Happiest Girl (The Pulsating Orbital Mix (Instrumental)) whilst this record features the three tracks that appear on the official release of 12BONG20, yet it's not the one called P12BONG20. A mystery eh? I accept it's the type of mystery that only applies to a tiny percentage of the world's population, but if you're reading this, it's likely that you're one of them.
|12BONG20 Side A|
To the music then. As you'll see above, the record is a white label promo which for the uninitiated, means that the label is blank. I'm sure you worked that out yourselves. Side A features one track, the imperious World In My Eyes (Oil Tank Mix) which is one of the finest Depeche mixes there is. Side A can be identified by the matrix that appears in the run out groove of the vinyl - 12 BONG 20 A1 PR-R Copymasters Miles B. The vinyl was mastered by Copymasters, presumably by a chap called Miles B, and distributed by PR Records, hence the PR-R.
|12BONG20 - Side B|
Side B features two remixes of two of the finest Depeche B-sides there are: Happiest Girl (Kiss-A-Mix) and Sea Of Sin (Sensoria). I mentioned the Violator era's general magnificence earlier. The fact that it gave us B-sides of the quality of Dangerous, Happiest Girl and Sea Of Sin is yet another reason to view it as essentially mankind's greatest ever triumph. Going back to the record above, you can impress friends and lovers alike by telling them that the matrix on the run out groove of Side B is 12 BONG 20 B1 PR-R B.
|12BONG20 promo 12" - rear.|
It would bother me if I didn't add a picture of the rear of the record for completeness' sake so there you go. Not my most thrilling work I admit...
This record is a genuinely rare thing what with only 500 copies in existence and it's a step above your usual 12" promo because of the glorious sticker on the front. The fact that, unlike all the other Violator era 12" promos, it uses imagery from the official releases, makes it really special, and, if you can find one, my advice is to get it. It can be pricey though with Discogs currently offering two for sale with the cheapest at an eye watering and somewhat taking the piss £249 plus postage (https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/1276324?ev=rb). Hang on for a cheaper sale and go for it - you won't be disappointed.